April 15th, 2014–two German newspapers calls for the removal of two Russian tanks from a memorial in Berlin which commemorates the Second World War. The two newspapers, Bild and BZ, put together a petition to the Bundestag, the parliament for Germany. A section of the petition reads: “In a time when Russian tanks threaten a free and democratic Europe, we don’t want any Russian tanks near the Brandenberger Tor (Brandenburg Gate).”
The tanks are positioned within the view of Berlin’s famous Brandenburg Gate, which is a part of the memorial where 80,000 Soviet troops were killed during the Battle of Berlin in 1945. In 1990, Germany had agreed to take care of all Soviet war memorials that were on German soil. This agreement was part of a treaty which established the unification of German.
The German criticism of the involvement Russia has with the Ukraine has been silenced, partially because the two countries have trade agreements and there is an underlying amount of wartime guilt by the Germans. The two newspapers stated they had no intention of trivializing the suffering the Soviet Union experienced during the war; however, they noted the display should not be associated with the “hegemonic military policies of today’s Kremlin leadership.”